CAA-accredited programs elect the academic and practitioner members of the CAA. Each program, whether accredited in audiology or speech-language pathology, may cast one vote for each vacancy on the CAA, regardless of whether the position is in audiology or speech-language pathology. Candidacy programs are not eligible to vote.
Program directors are encouraged to include all faculty in the relevant profession in the discussion regarding the vote to be cast by the program. Programs are encouraged to review the roles and responsibilities of CAA members as outlined in Chapter V: Operation of the Council on Academic Accreditation in the Accreditation Handbook when considering the candidates for each position as well as the current CAA roster.
Election Schedule and Notification
The program director for each accredited program in good-standing will be sent instructions and the link to the election site on Monday, August 26, 2019, when online voting commences. Voting concludes on Monday, September 16, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.
All candidates will be notified as described in Chapter VI: Nominating Committee of the Accreditation Handbook. After the candidates have received notification, the election results will be announced via appropriate publication vehicles.
Candidates for Election to the CAA
The CAA Nominating Committee present the following slates of candidates to serve on the CAA beginning January 1, 2020. Accredited programs will select from among the candidates to fill the six vacancies. The name and affiliation of each candidate is listed below, along with the written statement from each candidate describing the expertise he or she would bring to the CAA.
Slate for Academic Members in Audiology (three vacancies)
Sarah Hargus Ferguson, PhD
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
The expertise I bring to the CAA comes from 17 years as a professor in two Au.D. programs and from service on my college curriculum committee.
I arrived at Kansas in 2002, just as the program switched from the master’s to the Au.D. I thus was involved both in the initial implementation of the program and in the inevitable adjustments required as plans met reality. During my 9 years at Utah, turnover among our small number of audiology research faculty has necessitated two major Au.D. curriculum overhauls. Furthermore, my academic and clinical colleagues work together closely on all aspects of curriculum and clinical training, and are committed to making our program the best it can be. Consequently, we are always assessing and making minor adjustments to our curriculum.
The College of Health Curriculum Committee at Utah reviews all new and revised courses and programs in the College; I joined the committee in 2011 and was appointed chair in 2014. As chair, I inaugurated two changes to ease member workload. I created a syllabus template that clearly displays required elements and offers a format instructors can adopt if desired. This has greatly simplified syllabus and course review, both for the committee and for curriculum officials “up the hill”. I also instituted a process where I assigned each course proposal for review by two committee members, rather than the entire committee.
From these experiences, I know I’m perfect for the CAA: I enjoy this type of work, and I’m good at it.
Mary Sue Fino-Szumski, PhD
Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education
Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences
I have been a certified, licensed audiologist and member of ASHA since 1988. The majority of my professional experience has been in administration and teaching. I believe my administrative, academic, and service experience will allow me to make meaningful contributions as a CAA member.
I am a faculty member and Director of Clinical Education for the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University. I have experience developing and implementing policies/procedures to ensure compliance with credentialing standards, monitoring compliance with policies and procedures, and implementing corrective actions when needed.
Through my past service on the TN Board of Communication Disorders and Sciences, I gained experience in interpreting state licensure requirements. As a board member, I participated in developing Board policies, the review and approval of licensure applications, and the review of cases and determination of disciplinary action where licensees had violated the rules/regulations of the Board.
At the present time, I am in my final year of my term on CFCC as an academic audiology member. I was the 2017 and 2018 CFCC Vice-Chair for Audiology and 2019 chair of File Review and International Committee. During my service on CFCC, new audiology and speech-language pathology certification standards were drafted and approved. I am also serving a four-year term as a site visitor for CAA.
Alyssa Needleman, PhD
Clinical Director and Associate Professor
Department of Audiology
Nova Southeastern University
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
My career in audiology has been varied, providing service across multiple sectors. The hallmark of these experiences is the education of students and professionals, as well as research serving the needs of our profession. I began my career in academia at the University of Vermont, teaching the hearing sciences, supervising clinic, and as LEND program faculty. I continued work in academia at Howard University and University of Maryland. I also established a private practice, serving professionals needing audiological support. This led to corporate work, managing education and training, implementation of EHDI, setting clinical policy, managing quality systems, and leading regulatory strategy with industry. I next moved into hospital administration, providing leadership for Audiology, Psychology, and Cochlear Implant teams.
Since returning to academia at Nova Southeastern University, I bring these real-world experiences in the field to the students and program. My approach to teaching is to infuse the knowledge from leading teams in these various sectors to the classroom. As Chair of the Curriculum Committee, I ensure the academic integrity of departmental curriculum, ensuring responsiveness to changes in the profession. My work managing clinical placements requires extensive liaising with outside providers and institutions, and matching student and academic needs.
I have just completed 2019 CAA Site Visitor Training and am awaiting scheduling of my trainee site visit. Additionally, I have participated in CAA, ACAE, and SACS re-accreditation. The culmination of my roles has afforded me wide perspective and training in academic and clinical education within a variety of educational delivery models.
Nancy Nelson, AuD
Clinical Professor – Audiology
Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences
Dr. Nancy Nelson has been a clinical faculty member in the Indiana University Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences since 1990. She has been Hearing Clinic Director since 2001 and is primarily responsible for clinical education training. In 2011, she earned an Au.D. and in 2018, was awarded the rank of full clinical professor. Initially, she brought to IU the clinical expertise and research based audiology protocols from her stint as a pediatric audiologist at Boys Town National Research Hospital. Over the years, she has contributed to the training program through the development of formative and summative assessments, as well as focusing on supervision as a distinct area of practice.
As clinic director, Dr. Nelson has been integrally involved in preparing for three CAA site visits and understands the rigor involved in that process and the importance of innovative developments in clinical training for future site visits. In addition, Dr. Nelson is charged with the implementation of audiology standards. Certainly, the transition to a doctoral program may have represented the most challenging period of implementing changing standards to date. Fortunately, she is part of a department that prides itself on staying current and will devote necessary resources to do so.
Dr. Nelson has recently served on two ASHA sub-committees, the AAA Education subcommittee and is currently an Indiana EHDI team member giving her national and state service experience. These experiences have given her the opportunity to provide input on current audiology training/practice. She welcomes the opportunity to serve the CAA!
Soami Santiago De Snyder, PhD
UPR Medical Sciences Campus
University of Puerto Rico
Gurabo, Puerto Rico
During my professional carrier I served in many capacities as an academician and as a consultant for different community and government organizations. Among them the Department of Health, Head Start Programs, ASHA’s Audiology Council, The American Academy of Pediatrics, Saint Gabriel School for the Deaf and the Minority Committee of the American Academy of Audiology. Currently I am the president of the Puerto Rican Organization for Speech-Language Professionals and Audiologists. As the former clinical coordinator of our Program and as a faculty member I also helped in the development of our Program’s proposal for the Doctor of Audiology degree (Au.D). After the first site visit I participated on several accreditation processes. I organized the evidence and help to develop the current policies and assessments associated to the Program’s clinical component. As an academic senator I participated on the development of the new policies associated to Faculty performance evaluation and analyze several pieces of legislation regarding Faculty retirement policies, Autistic patient’s treatment rights among others. I also co-authored the Puerto Rico Law for Neonatal Hearing Screening and serve as a member of the PR Early Detection and Identification Board for 15 years.
Yunfang Zheng, ScD
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, Michigan
I am currently an associate professor at Central Michigan University where our CSD program had just got re-accredited in spring of 2018. I have witnessed and participated in the whole process so I am familiar with the procedure of program accreditation. CAA aims to direct and promote the CSD program and I believe that my previous experience can contribute to CAA’s standards development and implementation, curriculum/clinical training development, etc. I was an audiologist working solo and managing an audiology department in a hospital setting so I am familiar with the audiology profession’s demands and understand what students will face after graduation. The program I am in right now, one of the longest standing audiology programs in the nation, has well developed academic courses and clinical practice within our own fully functional clinic. Our students are well recognized for their competency. My teaching responsibility actively involves curriculum design and decisions, outcome measurement, incorporating outcome findings, decisions about teaching and measuring knowledge and skills for clinical practice. I have also been conducting different research projects and mentoring students on doctoral projects with dissemination in national and international conferences and journals. In addition, I have been participating in department strategic plan implementation, policy decisions, and different levels of services. I believe that my experiences qualify me for this CAA position.
Slate for Academic Members in Speech-Language Pathology (one vacancy)
Claudia Meyer, M.S.
Director of Clinical Education, Full Professor
Speech and Hearing Sciences Department
Portland State University
A positive relationship between accreditors and their stakeholders is fundamental to the success of any field. Trust, respect and transparency are key components of this relationship. The CAA guides programs in meeting outcomes, but more importantly to innovate and excel. I was trained as a Site Visitor in 2017 and have served on two site visit teams under excellent Chairs. I find the process of delving into the “why” and “how” of the professions exciting and invigorating. I have grown to deeply respect the work of the CAA and highly value the impact it has had in our professions.
As a CAA board member, I would commit to finding ways to reduce redundancies, increase transparency and to improve accessibility to the accreditation process. I have participated in strategic planning for my department and state association. I learned that taking the time to actively listen to stakeholders and commit to a deliberative process is essential to the creation of a meaningful strategic plan. In addition, as Clinic Director at PSU, I recently co-lead my department through a site visit and was inspired at how the process reinvigorated our commitment to student learning.
In the coming years, the CAA plans to increase services and resources for existing and developing programs including workshops and educational modules. I would be thrilled to be part of the process as a board member as the CAA works to create strong, collaborative relationships with academic departments and continues to guide the professions into the future.
Mona Ryan, M.S.
SLP Clinical Coordinator; Clinical Associate Professor
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
I have been involved in the CAA accreditation process since 2005. I help maintain records of activities in the strategic plan. I have worked with colleagues to develop new coursework and clinical opportunities to help us stay forward looking. As the clinical coordinator, I revamped the clinical forum courses to better address areas of need to meet CAA requirements and better prepare students in all areas of professional practice. As a site visitor, I truly learned the scope of the CAA.
I have been one of the SLP faculty participating in campus-wide interprofessional training experiences. With a new clinical faculty hire, simulation labs will be integrated to help with learning skills with adult patients. With the PT program we will develop interprofessional experiences with patients with strokes/brain injuries.
I also established and coordinate our department’s teletherapy program. It started as a school-based service where we managed a school-based caseload via teletherapy. We have added individual therapy sessions as well. Last summer, we joined our Child Study faculty in their annual Mighty Mouth camp for children with selective mutism. This summer students will again participate as well as several volunteering at camps for adults with developmental disabilities.
I worked from inception to develop an on-line associate’s degree program for SLPAs. Standards and coursework were developed; funding and location obtained and students recruited. Licensure rules/ teacher certification standards were developed. The program just graduated its fourth cohort. Currently I am leading the effort to develop a teacher certification test for Oklahoma SLPAs.
Alan Smith, EdD
Associate Professor and SLP Program Director
Department of Otolaryngology-Head/Neck Surgery-and Communicative Disorders
Division of Communicative Disorders; Section of Speech-Language Pathology
University of Louisville
Thank you for reviewing this statement of expertise as a component of the vetting process to identify the next academic member for the CAA. I am an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology and Communicative Disorders (speech-language pathology) at the University of Louisville in Louisville, KY. My philosophy within higher education centers on commitments that comprise teaching excellence, scholarly pursuits, and service. To that end, I currently serve as the director for the graduate program in CSD at the University of Louisville (UofL) and have held that position since 2014; I have been a faculty member since 2008. I balance my time between administration, teaching, advising, and elected clinical responsibilities. I successfully led the program through the reaccreditation process in April 2015 and have completed timely maintenance-based annual reports since that time. I serve as the program’s curriculum chair and regularly oversee meetings with my faculty where our plan of studies is updated. Our curriculum is robust and routinely includes opportunities for our students to engage with simulated and standardized patients (on-campus). We also use the Simucase program to varying degrees and in select courses. Lastly, I provide—primarily—diagnostic clinical services that involve 1-2 graduate students each semester. I am passionate about the accreditation process and deeply respect the principles and standards on which accreditation is based. I am a logical and organized individual and strongly feel that my set of skills and abilities will serve the CAA team well.
Slate for Practitioner Member in Speech-Language Pathology (two vacancies)
Jill Barton, M.S., CCC-SLP
Talking To You Too, Inc.
I like to think of myself as the everyday Speech Language Pathologist. I am out here in the field working hard to make a difference in the lives of the clients I encounter on a daily basis. As a clinical practitioner for 20 years, I have had the opportunity to develop a diverse background of speech language pathology practices and supervision competencies.
As a speech language pathologist, I have supervised at every level possible: undergraduate clinicians, in-clinic graduate clinicians, graduate students obtaining graduate practicum hours in the field, university liaison for graduate students in externships, and clinical fellow candidates. I understand the process involved at both the University level and in-the-field educating and graduating competent graduate students.
During these 20 years I have participated in the CAA process twice; once as an Undergraduate Instructor/ Clinical Supervisor in Georgia during an initial accreditation process and once as a Clinical Supervisor in Arkansas during a reaccredited process. Both processes were intensive in the amount of work involved. However, this process was vital to ensure foundational policies and procedures were provided so that students from across the country are receiving comparative educations.
Finally, after serving as a state association president, the most important asset I feel that I will bring to CAA is the ability to work with a variety of personalities in a calm and professional demeanor to achieve the best positive outcomes on each assignment.
Nicole Chow, M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech Language Professional – Professional Staff
Rochester Institute of Technology-National Technical Institute for the Deaf
West Henrietta, New York
I have spent the last 14 years learning and growing my expertise as a speech-language pathologist by working with individuals of all ages in educational and healthcare settings. My current position provides me the unique opportunity to be a full-time practitioner in a university setting targeting the deaf and hard-of-hearing population. I was recently selected as a CAA Site Visitor and have completed 3 site visits this academic year. I have enjoyed the immersive experience of the accreditation process and observing the dedication that ASHA volunteers and the university faculty display in ensuring excellence for the future of our profession. I have been able to utilize the knowledge gleaned from being a site visitor in my clinical role while developing curriculum and teaching communication courses to deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing students. My past participation in the ASHA Leadership Development Program and experience from my positions on the Board of Directors as president and community outreach coordinator for a community volunteer organization have also prepared me for this venture. It would be an honor to bring my diverse knowledge and experience to the CAA as a practitioner member. Thank you for your consideration.
Parrish Hill, M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech and Language Teletherapist Pathologist
Community Rehab Associates
The infamous question that one usually hears either personally or from asking others is “What do you want to be when you grow up?” As a young person, I thought long and hard and at the time I couldn’t come up with a satisfactory choice. First, I thought maybe a pilot – but all that I could reflect on was that I wanted to be in a profession where I could help people. Well as we know, that includes a plethora of endless possibilities. So when I applied and was accepted into the Speech Pathology program at the University of South Florida over 25 years ago, I never dreamed that I would literally be fulfilling my lifelong dream and vision of being a Speech Language Pathologist. It started with being trained at a veteran’s hospital, working in nursing homes, being a rehab/university clinic supervisor, providing services to school districts, and included presently doing VFSS work in hospitals as well as having my own business in home health. I am a Teletherapist Pathologist and I have worked with every age group from toddlers through older senior adults. Having the past experience as both a CAA Site Visitor and a Candidacy Site Visitor for ASHA as well as serving on the CAA Nominating Committee, I now can say that I humbly bring to the CAA table a full circle of expertise as a Mentoring Minority Speech Language Pathologist Practitioner and now I am indeed so thankful that I ultimately chose this profession!
Darryl Powe, M.S., CCC-SLP
Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Middletown, Delaware
My current vita supports a highly variable level of integrated clinical and academic experience. My teaching experience includes in-depth activities both in on-site and web-based clinical education. That work encompassed graduate and undergraduate position. I a clinical supervisory capacity and am one of the few UD Master clinicians supervising students on and off-site. I also served on Main Line Health’s Academic Affairs council. Part of our council’s mission was to evaluate all of our student affiliations (Speech Pathology, as well as Physical and Occupational therapies) to gauge our effectiveness as educators and to promote a more collaborative relationship with many universities whose students we helped train.
In regard to my experience with an accreditation process was developed during my tenure at Shaw University during which the university reaffirmation of accreditation was reaffirmed. During that time, my academic duties included participation in the Shaw University Library Committee. As the department representative, I was responsible for monitoring and maintaining library books, database access, and periodicals required for the students enrolled in the department’s majors. Presently, I am charged with evaluating outcomes data within the Speech department but also evaluating potential self-reported outcomes tools for OT and PT. I believe that, in particular, my present work in investigating outcomes measures will enable me better integrate my clinical and pedagogical skills to more efficient and effective outcomes. It is my goal to develop programs that better convey all of these skills to the students that we all supervise.
Laurie Sterling, M.S., CCC-SLP
Senior Speech Pathologist
Texas Children’s Hospital
Missouri City, Texas
As I review the expectations for the role of CAA Practitioner in Speech Language Pathology, I understand and appreciate the dedication, time commitment, attention to detail and organizational capabilities that will be required of me in this role. The ability to manage multiple projects and prioritize is one of the strengths I bring to the position. In my daily work I provide clinical services to patients, consult with other specialties, participate in various hospital committees as well as serve as the 2019 ASHA Convention Co-chair (SLP). I believe the time management and organizational skills I have developed will be beneficial to the position of Practitioner in Speech Language Pathology on the CAA.
I offer 25 years of clinical experience in both adult and pediatric settings, experience supervising students and clinical fellows, and have served as a mentor to both students and clinicians looking to advance their clinical knowledge and careers through S.T.E.P. or specialty certification.
Advocating for the advancement of knowledge and preparation/development of future and current clinicians has long been a focus of mine. My roles over the years in the Convention Program Committee, involvement in Special Interest Group 13 (Swallowing), the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders and as a CAA site visitor demonstrate the commitment to education and professional development I would bring to the CAA. I would welcome the challenge and the opportunity to serve on the CAA in the role of Practitioner in Speech Language Pathology.